THE European Union in Singapore, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) and Clingendael – The Netherlands Institute for International Relations jointly presented the SIIA-Clingendael Dialogue: Enhancing EU-Singapore Connectivity on 27th June 2019, at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel.

The conference brought together industry leaders and policy makers from Singapore and Europe to focus on connectivity in key areas such as infrastructure, digital and people-to-people connectivity.

In her welcome remarks, the European Ambassador to Singapore, HE Barbara Plinkert, said the conference is the second in a series of four this year (the first one, in January, dealt with security cooperation, and the remaining two, to be held later this year, will look at climate change and environment as well as economic relations). Connectivity, she said, is very much at the heart of the EU-Singapore relations as both countries’ societies and economies are interconnected but she added, “Our challenges are increasingly global. At the same time the global rules based order and multilateralism are under threat. Singapore and the EU are natural partners in defending these fundamental principles. A powerful signal emphasising this partnership was sent when Singapore and the EU last October when, together, we signed three landmark agreements: the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the Investment Protection Agreement and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. They underline the deep and multi-faceted connections that already exist between the EU and Singapore.”

The keynote speech for the event was delivered by Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State. Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore. She was followed by Ms Zsuzsanna Felkai-Janssen, the Coordinator for Artificial Intelligence, Directorate General for Home Affairs and Migration, European Commission who delivered the Opening Statement. Three panels tackled the following topics and took questions on:
– Multilateralising Infrastructure
– Deepening Ties through Digital Connectivity
– People-to-People Connectivity – An Unbreakable Bond which looked at what Europe and Asia can do to reinforce and build new channels for people-to-people contact.